GREENSBORO, N.C. — When you start high school, most look forward to those senior year experiences.
Prom, homecoming, graduation and so much more. But over the past couple of years, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of seniors missed out on some of those key memories.
No one thought back in 2019 the world would change.
One group of people who got hit the hardest was high school seniors.
WFMY News 2's Amber Lake sat down with three different high school seniors. One who graduates this year, one who graduated last year, and one who graduated in 2020.
Hats off to these graduates
Graduating this year from Trinity High School, David Makupson has been through it all. From starting out his high school career in a normal setting, to mask mandates, virtual learning, and a halt in sports. Now, he's on the other side of what seemed to be a very long pandemic.
The pandemic forced many schools to go virtual for a period, which had an impact on Makupson's grades.
“I'm a person who likes to learn in-person, and be hands-on with things. So virtual learning, made things a lot more difficult. After those first couple of weeks, my grades started to slip because I overslept,” Makupson said.
Now, as Makupson gets ready for his senior prom and maskless, in-person graduation, some students like Brianna Poteat who graduated from Graham High School in 2020, never had that experience.
“Makes me feel very sad because I see seniors right now getting ready for prom. And I'm like, I wasn't able to do that. And it kind of hurts because I don't know, I feel like class 2020 really got just a short stick of it. It really ruined everything like graduation wasn't normal. No prom," Poteat said. "Honestly, the last time I saw my classmates, we all had masks on. And we were all six feet apart in the line driving through to graduate and get our diplomas. So yeah, it makes me feel really, really sad that things ended, had to end that way.”
Poteat said it was hard being a high school senior at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. She, along with others, had to re-learn how to be successful with her studies.
Gwyneth Hill, who graduated from Ledford High School in 2021, had to do the same.
"It was a little bit different, too, we had to wear masks, and I wasn't able to be on the same days as my friends. So they were on B days, and I was on A days because of our last name," Hill explained.
Just like Makupson and Poteat, Hill had to learn how to be successful on her own.
All of these seniors weren't dealt the best hand during their senior year of high school. All of them though rolled with the punches and pushed through in order to be successful.
“There's some good things I learned from and some bad things...it made everybody's lives a little tougher. So this is really getting through like the bad stuff, because always the light at the end of the tunnel," Makupson said.
"Just trust yourself. Obviously, you're gonna have to get through it somehow. I just had to trust in myself and be like, Okay, you got to do this. You can get through it." Hill said. "I got through a pandemic and halfway through my junior year when I was taking my hardest classes. You've just got to get the right group around you and just trust God in everything. He has a plan for you. If you trust him he's going to lead you down the right path."
WFMY News 2 wants to make sure the senior Class of 2022 gets shoutouts from family and friends. You can text your photos to 336-379-5775 just make sure they are non-professional photos.